Hangin' with Harrington

Shutting down carbon monoxide at its source

Winters saw that the technology existed for that application and wondered if detectors could be developed that would communicate to furnaces. He sought the Research & Development on it, and now this unprecedented, life-saving technology is available. He's donated many of the systems to elementary schools and colleges, in an attempt to protect life and educate facilities managers on the importance of this technology.

Winters urges installing dealers to be proactive and educate customers on the critical importance of shutting down CO at its source, not merely installing detectors. "CO tragedies happen everywhere," he states. "No one is left out. One in five homes over the next 5 years will experience a CO problem." He advises installing dealers to work with customers. "Put in hardwired detectors, and, when you are about to finish, say 'I'd be so remiss if I didn't tell you that, for a bit more money, you can have the source of CO automatically shut down.'" (The systems sell for between $330 to $390 through various industry distributors.)

Carbon Monoxide Tips to Pass on to Customers
Warning Signs

  • Because carbon monoxide results from improper burning or venting, be alert to signs indicating a problem.
  • They include:
  • Decreasing hot-water supply.
  • The pilot light of a furnace or other gas-fired equipment keeps going out.
  • The pilot light and burner flames of a gas furnace or other gas-fired equipment are mostly yellow, rather than clear blue. (Please note that some natural gas fireplaces are designed to have yellow flames.)
  • Soot build-up around appliance vents.
  • Stale or stuffy air.
  • Unfamiliar or burning odor.
  • A sharp, penetrating odor or the smell of natural gas when your appliance is turned on.
  • Increased condensation inside windows.
  • Plant leaves yellowing.
  • An appliance that keeps shutting off. Many appliances have safety devices installed that prevent dangerous operation of the unit. An appliance which constantly shuts off may be an indication that the appliance is not safe. Call a service technician to test the appliance before you try to operate it again.

Preventing CO Poisoning

  • Have your appliance serviced regularly/ never attempt to adapt or service it yourself.
  • Provide adequate ventilation (with proper air flow, CO cannot build up).
  • Never leave a car running in the garage.
  • Be aware of signs of CO presence as described above.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector with an audible warning.

Recognize the reality that alarming alone is simply not enough. And, help save lives. For more information, visit www.ecsultraguard.com.